Sian de Jong was one of two Student Creative in the 2015 / 2016 academic year. The aim of the initiative was to offer all students at the AUB an opportunity to create work inspired by the MoDiP collection. This could be in any discipline with any creative outcome from physical art work to film or acting production. The MoDiP collection and / or the museum's practices had to be at the heart of the project and the work needed to be displayed either physically or digitally after a period of 20 weeks. A small bursary was provided to assist with material costs during the project and the remainder was paid on completion.
The resident was expected to keep the MoDiP team updated with progress reports on a regular basis either through email or face-to-face. They were also expected to write three blog posts during the process which follow below. The project not only helped MoDiP work closely with an AUB student, it gave the student a live brief and an opportunity to demonstrate their professional practice beyond their academic requirements.
Sian's first blog post - Introduction
By definition an object is 'a material thing that can be seen or touched'.
In my practice I am drawn towards objects, in particular their history and the hands they have passed through. The Museum of Design in Plastics at Arts University Bournemouth contains around 13,000 objects in the collection. There is a digital database to browse through all the objects and log out objects from the collection for your own use.
I am a 3rd year Fine Artist and have been given the opportunity to become one of the new student creatives at MoDiP for 2016. The position was gained by submitting a proposal of my potential outcome and information on my current practice. My work focuses on the trace of objects, how and when an object was used and the relationship with the possessor of the object. The intended outcome is to create vacuum formed creation made from clear acrylic based on certain aspects and features from a selection of objects in the museum.
The starting point of my research was to meet with each member of the MoDiP team for an informal discussion about them and their role within the museum, objects that they are drawn to personally and their opinion on the operations behind the scenes such as maintenance and object storage. From these discussions I have come to understand and appreciate the use and value of plastics in the 21st century. Plastic is no longer seen as the low value substitute it is now respected as the ideal material for production and use of objects. These are some of the objects mentioned with the talk with the MoDiP team, these objects will be the basis of my work.
Sian's Second blog post
This is my second blog post for the student in creative position with the Museum of Design in Plastics. Throughout the project I have been constantly reflecting on the interviews I conducted with the museum team and the selected objects that arose from these discussions.
I have ordered the exact replica of these objects in order to handle and use in my project. The classic green garden chair, Hazel the rabbit napkin holder and shower cord from Sarah Bayley's plastic handbag. I was unable to find a Ming vase or an object of similar shape to use, instead I will be taking inspiration from its 22.2cm diameter and its seven tiers.
My piece seems to be revolving around math calculations to work out circumferences of the various sized circles to create a tiered effect sculpture. These tiers are inspired by the Ming vase that is in the museum collection.
I will be working with clear perspex acrylic material to create a final piece to exhibit in the middle of April. I will be using processes such as the vacuum former, line bender and plastic fusing. I have ordered five sheets of perspex casting plastic sized to fit the vacuum former.
This week I am going to begin constructing the rings of the tiers, the smallest ring being 6cm and the largest 50cm. I will also start experimenting with the vacuum former to recreate features of the selected objects in the clear Perspex acrylic. These features or particular areas of the objects will be integrated within the piece on display. Parts of the objects will be recognisable to the audience and encourage them to try figure out which object it has come from.
Below are some images of my sketchbook and the making process:
Sian's final blog post - overview
My student in creative residency has come to an end after a period of 6 months. During this project I have worked alongside the museum and the museum's team to research and find inspiration for a piece of artwork. I gained my direct inspiration from the informal interviews individually held with the members of staff. Four conversations were held expressing their selves, their involvement, relationship with the museum and particulars about certain objects in the collection.
I based my project mainly upon three objects, Garden Chair, Hazel Rabbit and Ming Vase. I focused on the features and qualities of each of these objects.
Incorporating the aspects into the final art piece, I used the shape and tiers of the Ming Vase, the vertical support structure of the Garden Chair and the outline design of Hazel Rabbit.
Creating and building each part took plenty of measurements and calculations to ensure the correct diameter, circumference, heights and widths.
Each section took preparation work, especially the plastic rings required individual formers for each ring size in which the heated acrylic plastic to be wrapped around to keep its shape. The only challenge that I faced was ensuring enough support from the chair leg running through the centre to manage all the weight.
My work is now on display in the Arts University library on the bottom floor. One cabinet holds the supportive material and the second holds the final piece itself.